The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has dismissed recent media reports suggesting that a staff shortage is causing delays in the issuance of pilot licenses. The DGCA clarified that the processing time for licenses may vary depending on the complexity of the application.
The indicative timeline for issuing and converting commercial pilot licenses is 20 and 30 working days, respectively. The DGCA has been meeting these timelines despite an increase in applications. On average, it takes 22 and 31 working days to process applications for CPL issue and conversion in 2023.
The DGCA official mentioned that the number of CPLs issued in 2022 was the highest in the last decade and that this number has already been surpassed in September this year. The DGCA has been issuing licenses and ratings in record numbers for the past two years with the existing manpower. As of August 31, there has been a 45% increase in licenses and ratings compared to the entire year of 2022.
The DGCA clarified that there is no staff shortage and revealed that they have a sanctioned strength of 228 posts across various directorates. In the Flight Crew Licensing Directorate, there are 15 technical personnel, with 12 currently in active positions.
The DGCA also addressed concerns regarding Air Traffic Controllers Licensing and Aerodrome Licensing processes. The processing time includes the applicant’s response time to issues raised by DGCA officers. For Aerodrome Licensing, the minimum processing period is around three months from the date of receiving a complete application and aerodrome manual. However, this timeline may extend if there are unresolved issues.
The DGCA official also mentioned that aerodrome licenses have been issued to Shivamogga Airport, Rajkot International Airport, and Utkela Airport in the last six months.